Where do I start?

Despite writing software for a living, I have no knowledge whatsoever of PC Gaming and Simulator - absolutely none, zero, squat. The only computer ‘game’ I have ever seen was Space Invaders in a pub in the late 1970s!

I have one interest, and one interest only, I want to fly a Bell 47. When I came across this website I thought I had struck gold, but where to begin?

I have a bunch of questions (apologies in advance). I am not sure this is even the correct place to ask them, but here goes!

For reference, here is the specification of my current desktop PC:

Windows 10 (Enterprise 64-BIT) - 16GB RAM - 1TB SSD
Intel i7-3770K @ 3.50GHz
Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 (DirectX 12)

  1. I understand that I need to purchase Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS), is there a specific version I need or should avoid?
  2. Would the simulator well run on my current PC, or would I benefit from a better specification?
  3. Will the simulator run on a PC and/or Xbox?
  4. Is there a benefit of an Xbox over a PC or vice versa?
  5. I have seen videos of people running simulation software with a virtual reality headset. Is this an option with this simulator? If so, are any particular headsets recommended?
  6. Are more realistic input devices available with cyclic, throttle, collective and foot pedals available? As before, if so, are any recommended?

In terms of budget, I could probably spend £1,500 ($2,000) - ignoring PC/Xbox costs. Is this realistic or am I delusional?

Thank you for your patience.

Hi mate and welcome, pc buying is a nightmare of cost and hidden secondary purchases, it’s a minefield lol. As for what you have at the moment, short answer, no. It won’t run the latest simulators. You’d need a minimum of 16gb ddr4 Ram a decent graphics card, an upto date CPU, a good motherboard to take all that shiny new stuff and probably a new psu and case. This is all before the peripherals you’ll need/want. Joystick, throttles, rudder pedals and maybe even a VR headset. If you want a ready built system you could probably get a semi decent one for your budget or if inclined then you could build one yourself. I’m more than happy to help get you started if you want to look at systems and post some findings here ?

You’re UK based right?


Hi Tony,

Thanks for getting back so quickly. Yes, based in the UK. I’d really appreciate any advice you can give if it’s not too much trouble.

Thanks again!

FlyInside: Virtual Reality Flight Simulation we have our own sim with the Bell 47 included and we have a free trial, see if that works on your current pc, I’m thinking it might just but you’ll have to go give it a whirl. So 1500 quid is your max for a pc right ? You have a good monitor keyboard and mouse ?


As a little taster, if you can stretch this far then this a great start = https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/gaming/pc-gaming/gaming-pcs/acer-predator-orion-3000-po3-630-gaming-pc-intel-core-i7-rtx-3070-1-tb-hdd-512-gb-ssd-10223738-pdt.html?istCompanyId=bec25c7e-cbcd-460d-81d5-a25372d2e3d7&istFeedId=4d7eb93e-055f-499d-8ee5-1cdcc50d67d1&istItemId=pwtaixprr&istBid=tztx&srcid=198&cmpid=ppc~gg~0074+(Shopping+Ads)+Gaming+Desktop+-+Brand+Intel+Sept19~new+ad+group+29%2F10%2F2021~Exact&mctag=gg_goog_7904&kwid=GOOGLE&device=m&ds_kids=92700067476738178&tgtid=0074+(Shopping+Ads)+Gaming+Desktop+-+Brand+Intel+Sept19&gclid=Cj0KCQiA4b2MBhD2ARIsAIrcB-RVau6BMzagOl16rIpdWnD2CNwf_2f6IW6kig6JcnV49-N72zPjVesaAuKJEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds


That’s great Tony - thank you.

I’ll build a shopping list based on your example, and come back here if I may for comment.

Thanks again - really appreciate it.

Of course you can pop back mate, more than happy to get you up and away.


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If he can get his hands on a I5 12600k for a similar price it would have more longevity, and the performance is substantially better for about 50 dollars less. Though the motherboard may be more. I am not familiar with UK pricing or availability though.

I have been looking at some of the 12th Generation I9 stuff with the longevity view in mind. I paid similar prices 7-years ago for my existing PC and if I look at the cost per year it is less than $400/year which isn’t too bad. I understand though that Intel have some early adopter problems so might try and be patient or just go for 11th Gen and play safe.

I9 is of course the dream, but dollar per dollar the one I suggested is the 'bang for the buck

Msfs is still not great with multicore either way, and the dx12 update is still a preview. Thursday will tell the tail.

I would just suggest a newer generation processor.

Thanks @Misift79 - that sounds like good advice - I was talking myself into breaking the Bank! :slight_smile:

The only thing I need to weigh up is the overall longevity as currently, I use the same PC for work (software development) and (very) limited leisure. Since I have a limited leisure requirement and software development is not that processor hungry, I think I can still hit both requirements with one PC.

Can I ask what is happening on Thursday?

Oh thats game of the year day, huge update.

dx12 preview option 5 i think ? New planes

a few new airports

The new reno air race dlc


~Rory M

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One thing I forgot, if you are going pre-made, check the ram. 1 make sure its 2 sticks

Cause with shortages they are screwing people, and performance wise that makes a huge difference

And 2 you might save money buying a 16gb system then upgrading it yourself

Check ram, prices

~Rory M

Thank you again @Misift79 - this ‘leisure’ computing thing is a minefield! Good point on the memory config - didn’t even cross my mind!

Just buy a helicopter, or a full 3d body machine from these guys. Its easier lmao

With the hardware shortages a helicopter like the bell might be a steal

There are other suppliers as we as Currys - my laptop & desktop are both from Chillblast (chillblast.co.uk) and I’ve been very happy with both the systems and the support. They’ll build to order so you can customise a system. If you let know that you’ll be using the system for FS2020 they’ll discuss with you exactly what they can do for your budget.

I have no connection with Chillblast apart from being a very happy repeat customer.

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Thanks @Trident3 - I bought my current desktop from Chillblast and it has been faultless. Just checked it was bought in April 2013 for just under £1,400 and has been used 8-10 hours a day (for work), so it owes me nothing :slight_smile:

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Chillblast have a 5% black friday deal going on at the moment; if it wasn’t for the fact that my 4-year old desktop still runs like it’s new I’d be tempted :slight_smile:

Edited to add: Chillblast were very open about the video editing and rendering laptop I specified and bought a couple of years ago; I wanted it to be as fast as reasonably possible (Intel i9-9900K etc) and they said they were happy to build it to my spec but that I should be very aware that when I’m using it for video rendering it will get hot and I should get a laptop cooler - not just for the laptop but also for my lap - and also that when rendinering video, the battery life would be at best an hour and probably less.

When I ran out of storage (2TB M.2 supplied…but video files are HUGE) they sent me the service manuals so I could install additional storage (which meant some open-heart surgery…), and told me that adding the additional storage wouldn’t infringe the warranty, if I broke it they’d fix it under warranty.

Again - I’m just a happy customer of Chillblast.

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